Bridge Road Bistro – South Hills, Charleston, WV
Bridge Road Bistro is a staple for many in South Hills. So much in fact that they shorten the name and refer to it as the Bistro. I don’t eat here as much as I would like. When I suggest it and any other restaurant with a similar price range to “The Vegetarian Wife” she always picks something different. She likes to stick with what she knows. This make sense, because after 11 years of eating spinach quesdillas she finally changed her Mexican restaurant order.
The Bistro is one of the first buildings you see when you crest the Bridge Road hill coming from downtown. It simple exterior is only rivaled by its simple interior. Wood, wood, and more wood. It has a bank of windows that sit high on one wall. Ron said on a prior visit that the high windows reminded him of a submarine, because people on the side walk can look down on the diners. I thought this was funny. How many real submarines (think military) have windows? It reminded me of one of those bad polish jokes I heard in grade school:
Why did the polish navy’s ships sink?
They installed screen windows….
We were seated at the chef’s table, which is a large booth that overlooks the kitchen. The lunch menu contains a mix of salads, sandwiches and a select number of entrees. I wavered between the reuben, an Indian inspired wrap and the Bison Burger. I ultimately went with the Swan Ridge Bison Burger for 11.95. I decided swiss was the right cheese and BRB rounded the bison burger off with a pile of leaf lettuce, tomato, and red onion. I ordered fries and wish I ordered the house-made chips. Bison is very lean which left the meat quite bland. A chipotle raspberry ketchup was added, but it was more sweet than smoky and didn’t add much to the burger. I would pass on this sandwich on a future visit.
I unlike Susan don’t think it is overpriced for BRB’s target customer. It is expensive, but I always say, “If no one is complaining about the prices then they are too low.” I think the BRB earns Three Forks.
This was my first time visiting Bridge Road Bistro for lunch and I have to say, I was not that excited. My husband and I ate there several years ago for dinner and it was not that memorable. In fact, I tried to recall what I had, but couldn’t. The only thing I could remember was that I didn’t get much food and we paid a lot.
This visit, I ordered the Bistro Crab Cake Sandwich with BRB Chips. I debated about this choice for a while as I thought it was a little expensive (again). But after reviewing the menu in more detail, I decided that it was only $3 more than any other choice I would make (the sandwiches ranged from $8.95 to $12.95 and the only choice at $8.95 was a Reuben… and I don’t care for those.) And then another thought…I would just order water instead of soda- that would make my expensive sandwich easier to swallow.
Well, I was very pleased with my sandwich. The crab cake was very crabby. There were nice large chunks of crab in it. It was not like one of those crab cakes that places call “crab cakes” but are really “bread cakes”. I hate it when this happens! Also, it didn’t have a lot of other filler in it either like onions, green peppers, or celery. I like a crab cake that contains mostly…you guessed it…crab. And this one did! The outside of the crab cake was crispy with a moist inside. I just love it when this happens.
Another love of mine…a good bun! The bun was soft and nicely toasted. There is just something about spreading mayo on a nice toasted bun, then layering it with lettuce and a good tomato- it makes a sandwich yummy. (side note: I had to borrow the mayo from another sandwich orderer- mine came with tartar sauce.)
The BRB chips were tasty. They were hot and crispy. And I thought I received a generous portion. I was very happy with this choice as there was a debate at the table…some people thought the chips were better, others like the fries.
This sandwich was very large. Combined with the chips- very, very large. When they brought this thing out, I thought, “there is NO WAY I am going to eat all of this.” Well folks, I was wrong. I finished it all…every last crumb.
If it wasn’t for the prices, I would have given BRB five forks. The service was great- the food was great. However, it wasn’t $16 great (and that was without a soda)! I give BRB a surprising FOUR FORKS!
I reviewed Bridge Road Bistro back in July and was underimpressed, especially considering all the hype surrounding this place. The offensive dish I ordered is still on the menu – so beware. I declared during that review that I would order the jerk pork sandwich if I ever returned…and that day came last week.
This sandwich combines jerk-marinated prok tenderloin slices, sliced ham, pineapple, provolone cheese and a grainy mustard. Sounds good, huh? Well allow me to start picking it apart, ingredient by ingredient.
The pork tenderloin: I have had “jerked” dishes before and you better spell f-l-a-v-o-r with a capital “F” when you’re talking about the flavor of jerked foods. Not this one, though. I didn’t get even a hint of a marinade. As you can see from the photo, there were four small slices on the sandwich, which turned out alright since there was sliced ham to supplement it.
The ham: regular deli-style ham, and a decent portion of it.
The pineapple: the pineapple was a great addition to this sandwich but there wasn’t enough of it. I am wondering if they use canned pineapple chunks because that was the size of the pieces I found on my sandwich. I kind of expected to see two round slices, one on each half of the sandwich.
The cheese: you can’t go wrong with cheese, except maybe not use enough of it. The portion was adequate, covering the entire roll.
The grainy mustard: I dunno – couldn’t detect any at all on my sandwich. I usually 86 any and all condiments on sandwiches, preferring to choke them down dry. For this one, it was irrelevant since I couldn’t taste it anyway. Apparantly they should use more.
The bread: It was a nice french bread style roll, lightly toasted. I personally prefer a little more toasting, but the main idea is to have the bread warm, which it was.
Even though I wouldn’t describe it as “jamaican jerk”, all the components coming together did taste good and I enjoyed the dish. I piled all the contents on one half of the bread to save some empty calories. Perhaps the bread to filling ratio would have been a bit too high had I eaten it as presented.
The fries were frozen and forgettable. I tasted the BRB chips and they were quite good, but not as good as Griff’s.
Service was very good, as I would expect from a $12.50 sandwich. Yes, you have to get a line of credit to buy a soda here, so I ordered water. In fact, my entire party of 6 ordered water. We sat at the “chef’s table” right in front of the cooking area which made it a little noisy, but it was a comfortable table and it was fun to watch the action. The other seats I have occupied in the restaurant have been quiet and pleasant.
The best thing about my meal is that the pickle was placed atop the ramekin of coleslaw, thus dripping it’s juice into the cabbage-mayo concoction that I wasn’t going to consume anyway, instead of ruining my bread with it’s foul flavor.
The worst part of the meal is that I feel I get ripped off everytime I go to BRB- it’s just plain overpriced in my opinion. When I compare it south hills market & cafe, which I could see out the window and admittedly stared at the red awning longingly….day dreaming of the ham & brie sandwich with yummy feta/sun-dried tomato pasta salad for $5….I wonder why anyone comes to BRB.
After my third visit to BRB, I must downgrade them to TWO FORKS. I will only come back if forced into it, and hopefully someone else wil be picking up the tab.Bridge Road Bistro 915 Bridge Road Charleston, WV 25314